Listing Courtesy of KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY
When the first spring day comes along (as opposed to the first day of spring), a goodly proportion of residents feel the annual pull, toward the garden store aisles. Even those who’ve stoutly resisted ordering seeds, gardening tools, or any of the other back yard paraphernalia the catalogs kept hawking all winter can succumb to this particular Call of Nature.
Burpee, Scotts and Miracle-Gro shareholders can relax: spring has sprung.
The Lewes spring real estate selling season starts stirring, too, pretty much in lockstep with the appearance of the tulips. Whether or not the tulips have succeeded in poking up out of the ground, it’s a cinch that by this time they will have made colorful appearances on store shelves everywhere, just like the Peeps and chocolate bunnies. Unlike the rest of the early spring’s trappings, though, the spring real estate phenomenon doesn’t disappear from sight once Easter Sunday is a memory. In fact, it picks up steam.
There are any number of explanations why spring real estate in Lewes is always expected to ramp up. Part of the reason is the calendar. For families with children, if a move is going to involve a change in school districts, summer vacation is the least disruptive time of year for it to happen, so spring is the time to start house hunting. Part of the reason is due to the comparative difficulty of selling a home in wintertime: not only can foul weather make it harder to keep a home at its showy best, it also can throw a monkey wrench into property maintenance and the few cosmetic fixes that almost every home could use before it hits the Lewes listings. The result is a certain amount of bottled-up inventory that bursts onto the scene all at once—and springtime is the single time of the year when that happens.
Then there is the automatic momentum effect. When you sell a Lewes home, most families need to turn around and buy the next. The National Association of Realtors® tells us that the spring real estate selling season may actually be stronger than the numbers indicate, because many sales that really did begin “in season” don’t actually close until summer begins. Spring real estate as a phenomenon is “real” enough that you can’t blame them for lines like “Spring brings rain and flowers—and possibly extra green in the final sales price of your home.”
The spring real estate selling season is indeed underway, so if you are planning on listing your own Lewes home anytime soon, now is a great time to give me a call. It’s the best way to take advantage of the traditional boom in prospective buyers!
While much attention is directed at the phalanx of youthful first-time homebuyers, the Millennials and GenXers aren’t the only groups who are having a substantial influence on the direction of Delaware’s real estate market. Whether they are tagged “mature,” “aging,” or downright “elderly,” the over 55-crowd comprise an increasingly influential part of the marketplace. They are also facing some challenges when it comes to housing—and where there are challenges, people with solutions stand to profit.
Last month, Freddie Mac—the quasi-governmental entity that studies changing directions in the nation’s real estate market—published an eye-opening look at what’s been going on with our older homeowners. They conducted a survey that queried a representative sample of 4,886 homeowners aged 55 and older.
One finding that everyone in Delaware would probably expect was that the majority (about 2/3) of respondents hope to stay in their current homes. That proportion of the population hasn’t changed much over time. Another finding that no one in Delaware would be awfully surprised to hear was that a similar number—the same two-thirds—admitted that their present residences aren’t accessible to anyone with arthritis or limited mobility (not to mention the wheelchair-bound).
In other words, the wish and the reality are, at least for the moment, not entirely in sync. The real estate solution boils down to the issue of retrofitting. Eighteen percent said they had never given retrofitting a thought, but most of the others who have considered it are weighing how they will finance what can cost thousands of dollars. A third said they will rely on savings to create a home where they will be able to “age in place;” 26% plan to use HELOCs or bank loans; and a smaller percentages will rely on cash-out refi's, reverse mortgages, or family loans.
Freddie Mac didn’t provide a prescriptive commentary on the likely real estate repercussions of this aging in place phenomenon, but it seems as if Delaware contractors and sub-contractors will find themselves with a developing remodel category as the ranks of Delaware’s retirement-aged continue to grow. As far as Delaware’s real estate market is concerned, homes that are easily retrofitted should attract more of the 55+ crowd—as will single-level and ranch-style residences. Styles like multi-story Victorians which are generally associated with Gramma and Grandpop…well, perhaps not so much.
Aging in place is something to which even youthful homeowners should give some thought—particularly if the greater plan is to live and work in Delaware for the long haul. Whenever real estate plans are under consideration, I hope you’ll give me a call to discuss how I can help! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at email@example.com, visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com.